Long-time club member, Bob Cassidy got in touch with former club member Larry Carlton when we had some historical questions about the scholarships our club awards. He said "I joined the Club in 1975.  There was some history of giving scholarships when I joined, but it was haphazard and there was no consistency.  At that time scholarships were given by the Club with differing amounts and numbers given from year to year.
Around 1980 or so we put together a small committee of Peter Corea, me and one other (I don't remember who).  We decided to make the scholarship more valuable by making it a four year award provided the student remained in school and remained in good standing.  At that time we had the president and four deans from Middlesex CC as members of the Club and decided to make an annual award to a Bedford student attending MCC.  After discussion with the MCC members it was decided a $500 "Book Award" would be appropriate.  At that time I wrote up the criteria for the scholarships that was accepted by the Club's Board.  To the best of my knowledge they are still in use.
The initial Club scholarship was for $1,000 annually.  Some years later, that was increased to $1,500 making the total scholarship worth $6,000.  Up until the time I left the Club, the $1,500 and $500 were still the annual amounts.
Ray Williams was a charter member of the Bedford Rotary Club.  Despite living in Melrose, he was a regular fixture in Bedford.  He was always deeply involved in all Club activities, especially those that involved children.  When he passed away, the Club decided to name the annual four year scholarship in his memory.  Professionally he was a life insurance salesman.
Phil McGovern was another charter member.  He was the unofficial co-treasurer and sergeant at-arms for years though never officially holding either title.  He was always the first one at the meeting, set up the room and collected the money at the door.  Back then we were pay as you go.  We didn't start quarterly billing until many years later.  When he passed away, the Club decided to name the MCC scholarship in his name.  Phil owned the building and ran a package store at the corner of South Road and the Great Road for many years.  He eventually sold it to the Bolands.
The Shawsheen award started some years later.  I had been to the Lexington Club a number of times.  They had a program to fund a Lexington student at Minuteman Tech. to provide them with the tools or equipment needed to get them started in their vocation.  I brought the idea back to the Bedford Board and we decided to start a similar program in Bedford.  The intent was to provide a $500 award to a Bedford student, graduating from Shawsheen Tech., to buy the tools or equipment to get them started.  When the student was selected, we would get advice from their shop ay Shawsheen of what to buy.  I remember going to Lowell to a restaurant supply store to buy knives, pots and pans for a culinary student that won the award one year."
Thanks for sharing this history with us Larry!